Now, I know I won’t get much sympathy from our friends in the North, but Florida winters can actually get cold. Oh, did it get down to 55°, Ben? Well, yes – our acclimatizations are relative after all! I haven’t dug out from any nor’easters lately, but this winter has brought several stretches of chilly weather that would make even a Yooper bundle up. Working in the cold is just no fun at all. It saps your will to get the job done even quicker than the summer heat. But taking the cold days off isn’t an option, and we don’t always have the luxury of working in heated spaces. So, I turned to the authority in workwear – Dickies. Today, I’m wearing the Dickies Flex Sanded Duck Mobility Jacket. Because, baby, it’s cold outside!
Dickies really needs no introduction, but I’ll offer a short one anyway. In 1922, the company’s bib overall birthed an international company known for durable, functional, and comfortable workwear. Recently, you’ve seen Jeff Kennedy review the Dickies Painters Bib Overall, as well as Kenny’s review of the Flex Tough Jeans. Let’s see if this jacket can measure up to those solid performers.
Key Features Of The Dickies Flex Sanded Duck Mobility Jacket
Fabric and Materials
As disappointing as this sound to some of you, the Dickies Flex Sanded Duck Mobility Jacket is not made from any actual ducks. Rather, the term comes from the Dutch word, doek, which basically means “linen canvas”. These days, although linen duck still exists, most duck fabric comes from a thick cotton weave that was, at one point, used for making ship sails. Duck fabric blocks wind really well, and it resists tearing, punctures, and burning (be advised, however, that cotton duck will catch fire eventually, but it does offer some protection against sparks).
In the case of Dickies’ outerwear, the duck fabric consists of a 98% cotton, 2% polyester weave. Its smooth surface feels tough and durable, and less prone to tears and snags than most other fabric. And, although the outside does feel a little stiff, this fabric will begin to feel more comfortable as it becomes broken in. Dickies has also applied a water repellent treatment to the fabric to help keep you dry.
All of this sounds great, but in practical terms, does it hold up? Well, on my jobs, I find all sorts of different ways to poke and snag whatever it is I’m wearing at the time. However, throughout this review process, the Dickies Flex Sanded Duck Mobility Jacket remained unscathed. Honestly, I’m impressed by the jacket’s density, for lack of a better term. It’s not necessarily bulky, but it is way more jacket than a Florida boy is used to wearing. I’m not knocking Dickies here; this jacket will definitely do its job in colder climates, and in snowier conditions. But, for those of us in areas where a drop into the 30’s and 40’s only happens a few times a year, this jacket might be surplus to requirements.
Why add polyester to the mix? Dickies uses this blend for one reason: mobility. While the thick cotton is durable, it’s also very rigid and stiff. The polyester blend gives the fabric a little elasticity. If you can’t tell by this coat’s mouthful of a name, the Dickies Flex Sanded Duck Mobility Jacket emphasizes ease of movement. In addition to the slightly elastic weave, Dickies includes a bi-swing back, which not only enhances the overall flexibility, but it also keeps the back of the jacket from creeping up when you extend your arms. The inside of the jacket features a stretch quilted lining as well.
Practically, these features very helpful. I’ll start with the bi-swing back: this feature might not be unique to Dickies wear, but the design definitely has its merits. It allows you to bend more easily, or to reach down without experiencing resistance in the yoke of the jacket. When I reach up, I don’t have to deal with the shoulders riding up around my ears. Plus, the slight stretch of the polyester and the stretch quilted lining allows me ease of movement in just about any direction.
The only problem that I have is that the jacket is a little bit short on me. I’m a tall guy, and so this probably won’t affect everyone. However, I would have liked just a little bit more length to retain full coverage when I bend over. Aside from that, the arm length, chest, and shoulders are a great fit.
A Place For Your Stuff
As a general rule, I like pockets, and the more I have, the better. This becomes even more important to me on the jobsite. Fortunately, the Dickies Flex Sanded Duck Mobility Jacket has plenty of them. It includes a zippered chest pocket, two large outside pockets, one inner right pocket, and two inner left pockets. Dickies calls these interior pockets “media-friendly”. The intent here is to give you a dedicated place to stash your phone where it’s going to stay put and stay safe from the elements.
Speaking of the larger pockets, I really appreciate the options they offer. Electricians always work with some small objects, like wire nuts, or those small, decorative screw heads from light fixtures. Those things need to be at hand without being in my hands. I find the jacket’s pockets very helpful with these sorts of things. Of course, the two traditional, outside kangaroo pockets are generously sized for tools or hands.
Almost All Good In The Hood
Generally speaking, I really like the hood on the Dickies Flex Sanded Duck Mobility Jacket. It has some depth to it, which means that if I’m getting blasted in the face and neck by harsh winter winds, I can pull it up without having to ditch my hardhat.
If I can be a little picky for a moment, it would be nice if the hood was detachable. Most of the time, I wear a hat and don’t really need the hood, so it just sits back there.
The Bottom Line
As a Floridian, I won’t get the chance to wear the Dickies Flex Sanded Duck Mobility Jacket as often as those of you to the North. It’s a shame, really, because it’s a great jacket that will excel for folks working in steadily colder climates than I’ll have to endure. As a winter work jacket, it is excellent in every way. It looks sharp, it feels durable, it has some serious pocket storage, and most importantly, it keeps me warm. Despite the bit of bulk that this jacket has, it remains pliable enough to allow me to move around freely. On those days where we barely reach the 50’s for a high, you can bet I’ll have this jacket on!
Dickies Flex Sanded Duck Mobility Jacket Features & Specs
- Interior and exterior construction works together for extended movement
- Flex fabric for ease of movement and comfort
- Bi-Swing back
- Stretch quilted lining
- DWR (Durable Water Repellent)
- Reinforced cuffs for enhanced durability
- Media-friendly interior pockets
- 9.8 ounce Duck
- 98% Cotton, 2% Spandex
- Water repellent
- MSRP: $79.99 – $84.99
For more information on how to purchase the Dickies Flex Sanded Duck Mobility Jacket, click here.